8/23/2011

Smoothie Moves


When grains are not on the menu, breakfasts can require you to think out of the box!
(Haha, get it? "out of the (cereal) box"?!)

My middle son, Benji, has been tested on and off sensitive to eggs. Not a full blown allergy, but sensitive. If you persist in giving/eating a food that you are sensitive to, there is a really good chance that a big, nasty allergy will develop. So...we really don't do scrambled eggs, omelets, etc.

Cereal, oatmeal, toast, french toast, scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles and omelets are all a no-no for us right now. So what's for breakfast??

Kefir Smoothies!

Kefir is basically fermented/cultured milk. At our house, we use raw milk from grass fed cows to make a variety of cultured dairy products. Why raw? Dairy products that are pasteurized (that you find in the grocery store) are from grain fed, CAFO cows, and are only a source of calories and allergies!
(more on this here, here, and here-don't forget; if you are doing research make sure you find similar information in three or more places!)

Raw, grass fed milk is a natural immune builder! It is rich in the vitamin B's, is a great source of probiotics for intestinal health, and has tons of enzymes (which fight inflammation). All of this is destroyed completely when the milk is pasteurized.
(more on this here, here and here!)

OK, so back to Kefir!

Kefir is a powerful probiotic beverage. It is made by placing kefir "grains" (not really grain, it just looks like grain!) in milk and letting it stand on your counter for up to 48 hours. It looks kind of like runny yogurt when it's finished.
It can be strained, also, to make kefir cheese (similar consistency to cream cheese).

I make a 1/2 gallon of kefir at a time, and we use 2-3 C each morning in our smoothies.
Since we've been drinking kefir daily and using kombucha (more on that in a later post!), we've hardly been sick at all! In fact, I can't remember the last time I was sick since my flu back in October of last year. Proper intestinal flora (friendly bacteria) is of utmost importance to a healthy immune system. In fact, I would almost say that it's the single most valuable area of your body that you can work on being super healthy.

So, here's my recipe...sort of! I'm not really a by the books recipe kind of gal, I just cook with a little of this and a pinch of that. I'll attempt to quantify what I use!

Daily Breakfast Smoothies

2-3 C fresh homemade kefir
1-2 C frozen fruit
raw honey to taste

Blend, drink immediately!

That's the basic recipe that I always add or subtract from. I've been known to throw an avocado in (which makes it super creamy and satisfying), some raw egg yolks, aloe vera juice, kombucha, vanilla, a pinch of salt, some raw spinach, cinnamon, or whey. Not necessarily all at once!!

I will say that kefir is an acquired taste. It's a bit sour, similar to plain yogurt. At first, we had to do the "I'm sorry you don't like this, honey. It's good for your body and you need to be obedient to Mom and Dad and drink it" speech. After a while, maybe a week or so, the kids actually were asking for smoothies and my pickiest child was begging me to add avocado!
Don't give up when you are trying to introduce new, whole foods to your kids! Keep trying...sometimes it's just the "newness" that freaks them out!

6 readers took time to leave a thought:

Kara August 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM  

I don't know how I came across your blog. Similar name to a friend's blog I guess. Anyway, the smoothie picture caught my eye! :) Interesting, have never heard of kefir. Love the way you are introducing whole foods to your kids! We grow a lot of our veggies and buy locally for as much as we can, but I have to say, we also have store bought cereals, cookies, milk, chips, etc. We don't go crazy but it's still a part of our diet. I firmly believe moderation, not elimination, is the key for our family. Of course, I'm talking about my family, not anyone else's. But I think it's important to point out that no one in our family has been sick in as long as I can remember (kids are 10, 7 and 4). Just want to make sure it's clear that eating moderate amounts of "SAD" foods is not going to make you ill. Thanks for a great blog. I'll definitely be back!

12arrows August 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM  

Unfortunately, it is against our state law to buy or USE unpasturized milk! Makes me REALLY mad! Any idea's for me?

Blessings!
Heather

blueschoolmomma August 24, 2011 at 5:02 PM  

Kara- Thanks for stopping by!
We have actually always eaten whole, traditional foods, but have just recently eliminated grain in an attempt to deal with some health issues that several of us have.
We are currently following loosely to the parameters of the GAPS diet, which I'll be posting on a bit later.
We also aren't super duper strict, like you were saying your family isn't. For instance, we are leaving soon on vacation and will most likely be enjoying meals at several local restaurants and probably a fast food meal once, too! A little bit of "junk" once in a while is totally fine with me...but it's not what fuels us!

blueschoolmomma August 24, 2011 at 5:03 PM  

Heather- try looking for a farmer who does a herd share agreement. Ohio laws prohibit the sale and consumption of raw milk as well, but we all do herd shares. A herd share is basically that you own a cow, and pay a farmer to take care of it for you and milk it and then you come and get the milk from "your" cow. Here in Ohio, we pay roughly $4/gallon, give or take a bit...just so you have something to compare to if you find someone.

Kara August 24, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

Thanks for commenting on my comment! :) I completely agree with your last statement...."it's not what fuels us." Perfect way to put it. It's just so confusing sometimes. So many different opinions, studies, "experts", etc. are out there. We even have a well-respected pediatrician in our extended family who has a pantry filled with so much junk food it's insane. And their family very rarely eats fresh vegetables. Yet, he has children (15 and 17) who are extremely healthy, athletic and smart. Not that I don't want them to be these things but I have a son who looks up to these cousins of his and wonders if all that I'm telling him about healthy eating is true. "They don't eat whole grains or spinach and they're just fine." It's a minor struggle we have and sometimes proof would be nice, especially when it's so close to home. Okay, enough rambling. :) Take care!

blueschoolmomma August 24, 2011 at 8:09 PM  

Kara,

I just have to comment on your comment again! I've often felt the same as you do about folks who appear so healthy but eat nothing but synthetic food!

I believe there are many different constitutional types (I've confirmed my "suspicions" in a variety of research findings, too!)and some of them just seem to be impervious to anything.

My husband, for example, rarely gets sick, and eats his lunch out of the house from a restaurant 5 days a week. My middle son eats extremely healthfully, is not picky and willingly tries anything I give him, and gets sick more than any of us.

Here's the thing, though. Those folks that seem "invincible", so to speak, when they crash, it's for good! Or it's something major.

It's like a beautiful Porche that you put water into instead of gasoline. It looks great, might run for a minute, but then look out!
OR...(another car analogy!)It's like the gas light on the dashboard of your car. If you tap it out, it won't light up when you are out of gas, but you'll still be out of gas and the car will stop.

Those of us with working gas lights, so to speak, have the blessing of being notified when something is going wrong and can correct it.

Make sense? My uncle is an ND (naturopathic physician) and he's explained this to me in detail.

Also, personally, we believe that God provided everything we need to make our bodies run properly, and choosing to eat synthetic food is not His choice, and is not honoring Him with our bodies. Now this gets into another area entirely and could be a whole blog post, but that's the basic sum of it for our family.

Hope that helps! I feel for your situation!!

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